Senate Set to Overturn WRDA Veto (Sen. Mary Landrieu)

The Senate is expected to vote as early as today to override the President’s veto of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), a crucial vote for the safety and prosperity of the Louisiana and the entire nation. Yesterday, the House marshaled the necessary two-thirds majority to buck the President’s misguided stand.

While this bill is scheduled to pass every two years, it has been stuck in gridlock for the last seven. Demonstrated by the catastrophic collapse of levees in the New Orleans region two years ago and the recent Minnesota bridge collapse, our nation’s infrastructure is badly in need of repair. As a percentage of our GDP, we spend one-tenth as much on infrastructure as we did 70 years ago. By making vital investments in our levee systems and water resources infrastructure, including our flood protection and wetland restoration, we will be taking necessary steps toward an answer to this imposing challenge. Furthermore, tens of thousands of Louisiana jobs, and millions of American jobs, rely on our ability to get American goods to market quickly and efficiently. This Water Resources Act will maintain America’s competitive edge by strengthening our ports and global avenues of commerce.

The Louisiana delegation, Republicans and Democrats, all have united behind WRDA. The bill authorizes $7 billion for Louisiana, as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office, and is a lifeline for coastal communities that are increasingly vulnerable to rising sea levels and storm surges. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita dumped 217 square miles of coastal wetlands into the Gulf of Mexico, an area 3.5 times the size of Washington, D.C. This bill works to reverse wetland loss with an historic commitment to coastal restoration that includes $1.9 billion in authorizations for Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration projects (LCA).

It also authorizes $886 million for the “Morganza to the Gulf